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Steam Enhanced Remediation

The controlled injection of pressurised steam into an impacted zone will lead to rapid heating and subsequent mobilisation of most contaminants.

pahThe controlled injection of pressurised steam into an impacted zone will lead to rapid heating and subsequent mobilisation of most contaminants. Once mobilised conventional methods of recovery, which would otherwise be rate limited, can be used much more effectively. Typically a high vacuum recovery system is utilised as this can capture vapours, groundwater and NAPL. Although very well suited to VOC contaminants SER can also be used to target viscous materials like weathered LNAPL or Coal Tar. In this instance the forced displacement caused by the injection of steam can be utilised to enhance NAPL recovery.

The main benefits offered by Steam Injection is the acceleration of clean-up rates and the standards of clean-up that can be achieved. In effect it can reduce weeks and months of treatment into a few days. With the experience and knowledge Churngold have gained in providing such a solution the higher daily running costs when compared to conventional remedial techniques are outweighed by the turnkey cost benefits to Clients allied to reduced time-frames and certainty of success.

The advantage SER has over other heating techniques such as conductive and resistive heating is the rate at which it can heat-up a target zone due to forced convection of steam and hot condensates. In medium permeability zones e.g. clayey sand areas of 100 m2 can be heated to >50oC by a single well in the matter of a few days. It is also much more flexible meaning the worst zones can be targeted more intensely, seeing temperatures increase to >100oC while less impacted zones can be more gently heated.